Tag Archives: liberal democrats

Liberal Democrats are being excluded from referendum debate – don’t put up with this

We Liberal Democrats are used to not getting our fair share of media attention. Since last year’s general election, that has got even worse. However, we still aren’t getting anything like the coverage we should have based on our size.

Research carried out by the University of Loughborough during the EU referendum campaign shows that we are only being included in 1% of both press and broadcast media. Mind you, the official opposition doesn’t fare that much better, although that has definitely changed in the last few days.

Coverage by party during EU Ref

 

If you were thinking that there was a gross over-representation of right wing men, the study confirms your instincts.

The debate is highly presidential in character, focussing on key individuals. The top six individuals are all right-of-centre and are all men. Despite concern expressed by left-of-centre and female politicians about media coverage it’s still largely a ‘Tory story’ and a male dominated, ‘blue-on-blue’ tale at that.

So who are the main media performers?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 21 Comments

How I am trying to improve diversity in the Liberal Democrats

In December 2015 the ‘Diversity Monitoring Group’ was created which consisted of five people passionate about ensuring progressive change is made to address diversity. Most people are aware that diversity needs to be addressed in the Liberal Democrats. Everyone has heard Tim Farron say ‘we are a male and pale party’. Instead of waiting to see what the Party will do next we’ve decided to create a member-led diversity survey.

The results of the survey have been shared with  Liberal Democrat Headquarters,  chairs of SAOs and AOs and some Federal Executive members.

How it happened

We created a set of questions, set up a Google form, and started publicising the survey, mostly across social media. The survey was shared on social media from December 2015 to February 2016.

The results show that we had 132 responses from Liberal Democrat members, all of who are anonymous. The main issues raised were: communication, party culture, gender equality and unconscious bias.

Questions include:

  • Are there specific areas in the party which you feel men and women are not treated equally?
  • Do you feel better guidance on equality and diversity (via training) could come from diversity team HQ and ALDC?
  • Do you have any more comments regarding the party’s understanding of equality and diversity?

Conclusions from the survey include:

  • The need to take into account accessibility when communicating with members.
  • Party culture  – the “misogyny and sexism” in the Party and the “need to be educated about gender issues eg unconscious bias”.
  • We have passed on specific feedback to diversity SAOs and AOs
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 20 Comments

Liberal Democrats need to oppose this government with more passion and rage

Thank heaven we have had no major crises while our Government is weak and split. The lordly predecessors of the present set must have turned in their graves when Cabinet responsibility was temporarily abandoned, in defiance of historic practice. The ghosts should then have howled when leading Tories began to spit insults at each other and denounce the supposed lies of their colleagues.

Yet we are stuck with this Tory Government, in or out of the EU. This collection of sophisticated predators, who systematically promote the interests of their own kind and seek the further enrichment of the moneyed classes despite the deep inequalities in Britain, know how to survive.

Where was Iain Duncan Smith’s consciousness of his Government’s preferring tax cuts for the wealthy when poor and disabled people, hit by his benefit cuts, were struggling to survive? Those were the days when David Cameron’s response to Nick Clegg’s attempts to adjust the balance of taxation in favour of the poor was ‘But our donors wouldn’t like it’, and the reply to requests for more public housing was ‘It would only create more Labour voters’. Yet, only this year did Duncan Smith apparently find his conscience and notice that the parrot-cry of ‘We are all in this together’ was false.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 44 Comments

A big day of internal Lib Demmery ahead

So, we’ve not even had a proper weekend off since the election. Two weeks ago we were all knackered and had loads of clearing up to do. Last week we were all on INtogether stalls. Now, this Saturday, our minds turn to future party strategy across Britain.

In Scotland, the party executive gathers for the first time since achieving a better result than most of us expected. We have a lot to chew over in terms of future strategy and we’re taking a day to do it. We’re having to follow Willie to North East Fife where he’ll spend some time with us before heading off to a local agricultural show.

In England, English Council meets in London.

However, the biggest and most immediate decision will be taken by the Welsh Liberal Democrats at a special conference in Powys. They will be debating whether Kirsty Williams should take up a seat in the Welsh Cabinet as Education Secretary.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Wounded Liberal Democrats (Canine injury branch) founded #libdemsbiteback

tony and pw2Here’s a photograph of a very special occasion on Friday evening. At Newbury’s Corn Exchange (a venue which may well go down alongside the Norbreck Castle hotel, Blackpool in Lib Dem history) there was the inaugural meeting of Wounded Liberal Democrats (canine injury branch).

Our photo shows Tony Ferguson (eve of poll dog bite in Portsmouth while campaigning for Gerald Vernon-Jackson’s highly successful team) and Paul Walter (dog bite while pushing in a “We called on you today” leaflet in Elizabeth O’Keeffe’s victorious gain from the Tories in Newbury Victoria). These two have over sixty years Liberal party/Liberal Democrat campaigning experience between them (so perhaps they should have known better before annoying my fellow hounds – Newshound)

Posted in Humour and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Can the Lib Dems learn from the Church?

One of the obligatory truths of being a university student is that you become nocturnal. Staying awake until the small hours of the morning and rising just in time to get to your next lecture, even if that lecture is in the afternoon. It was on one of these nocturnal sessions that led me to watch ‘The Battle for Christianity’, written and presented by Professor Robert Beckford currently Professor in theology at Canterbury Christ Church University. This documentary took a look at where the heartbeat of Christianity is today, debunking the myth that church is still uniformly done to the keys of an organ.

As a practicing Christian, I have often perched myself on an uncomfortable pew, listened to the preacher, sat back and thought to myself, ‘the church and the Lib Dems are incredibly similar.’ This thought has occurred to me far too many times for me not to share it. Using ‘The Battle for Christianity’ and my own experience within the Liberal Democrats, I will seek to explain how to church has changed over my (relatively short) lifetime and what the Lib Dems can learn from this.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 22 Comments

Lib Dem MPs split 3 ways over Sunday Trading laws

Our band of 8 split 3 ways last night in the Sunday trading debate which saw the Government defeated. That is not actually as bad as it sounds. Alistair Carmichael quite rightly decided it was none of his business as it was relating to England and Wales only. The SNP voted against, presumably to distract attention of the London media from the disastrous figures which showed that the oil price would have an independent Scotland with a massive £15 billion deficit. Maybe that will make people realise the bullet we dodged when we voted against independence. I won’t hold my breath, though. The SNP seem to be on a mission to upset England, too. Their excuse was that they were protecting workers’ rights in Scotland, a spurious assertion given that shop workers don’t generally get paid more for working Sundays, which are not restricted here. And if they were that bothered about workers’ rights, surely Nicola Sturgeon wouldn’t be quite as snarky with Willie Rennie when he brings up working conditions at Amazon. Let’s not forget that SNP cuts to local government are going to mean thousands of council workers losing their jobs, too.

A cynic might think that they were actively creating such antipathy towards them in the hope that it would encourage England to vote to leave the EU, even though they are in favour of and are campaigning for a Remain vote. It’s like when they said they wanted Ed Miliband as PM last year but told everyone in England and Wales to vote for the Greens and Plaid.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMary Reid 26th Jun - 2:21pm
    Peter Buckley - yes, of course the petition is being used to express a desire for a second referendum. But it is a totally ineffective...
  • User AvatarSadie Smith 26th Jun - 2:20pm
    I watched a lot of people explaining why they were probably due to vote the way they did. Had they done so in a neutral...
  • User Avatarchris_sh 26th Jun - 2:19pm
    @Kevin colwill "If you dig a bit deeper you’ll find “taking control” was pretty much code for reducing immigration." Perhaps, but there again there was...
  • User AvatarLeave EU 26th Jun - 2:17pm
    Some strange things may be going on with this petition, including people signing from North Korea (I kid you not): https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215.json.
  • User AvatarMark Goodrich 26th Jun - 2:08pm
    Right - last one for this evening (Seoul time). David-1 - You are wrong to suggest that anyone but the UK can trigger Article 50....
  • User AvatarSILVIO 26th Jun - 2:05pm
    An election in October would destroy the Lib Dems.